As of May 2018, Olivia Bus is Holt-Sunny Ridge’s birth parent and adoption social worker!
My name is Olivia Bus and I am a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in social work. In order to graduate, all students must participate in an internship at a social services agency, so I am excited to be completing my internship at Holt-Sunny Ridge. I have been talking about wanting an internship at Holt Sunny Ridge since August 2016, so this has been a long time in the making. I am very happy to be at Holt-Sunny Ridge and have been learning so much about all of the programs offered by our branch.
In June, we held our first ever Trust-Based Relational Intervention® family camp for kids and their parents! Children were matched with volunteer buddies, who were by their side throughout the three-day camp. Adoptees engaged in a structured daily schedule that included nurture, movement, art and sensory time, while parents were taught Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) parenting principles by adoption-competent clinicians. The highlight for both children and parents was the equine therapy time each day, which gave them a chance to practice TBRI principles with the horses!
Parents are on the front lines for developing self-worth in their children. And yet, the power and importance of a parent’s connectedness to their child is often underestimated. According to attachment gurus like Dr. Karyn Purvis, Dr. Dan Siegel and Dr. Bruce Perry, secure attachments are instrumental in building self-esteem and worth. Conveying to your child that she is precious, giving her a voice, and sharing fun experiences with her are just the beginning of creating a foundation for self-esteem. It is important to understand that as children develop, they will continue to test parents. But what they desperately need is a safe adult who will be attuned to their needs and emotionally present for them.
One of the most common struggles parents face is playing with their children. For some, it just doesn’t come natural to be playful with kids. Often, we are too heavy on structure or correction because it’s what we think our kids need. But what if it were possible to teach our kids certain needed skills WHILE playing and having fun with them?
All of the activities below will meet your kids’ needs in some capacity. They will also help break up those long, dreaded indoor days!
“Stick Together.” “No hurts.” “Have fun” (Theraplay ®). These are three very simple phrases that guide our Kids’ Connection Group at Holt-Sunny Ridge. In July and August of 2016, eight adopted children, ages 7-11, gathered once a week for five weeks to connect, learn and have fun. The group is founded on six main components: Rules, Check-in, Band-Aids, Activity, Feeding and Closing. These concepts are adapted from both Theraplay ® and Trust-Based Relational Intervention ®. The concepts help children learn skills that meaningful relationships are built upon: the ability to give care, the ability to seek and receive care, the ability to practice autonomy and the ability to negotiate needs.